Archive for August, 2018

Here is the link to the new GoFundMe page, which I set up for the current school year 2018-19, for those who prefer that route.

For those who prefer to donate via PayPal, I have an account at revpaulmckay@gmail.com.

Or, if you prefer to deposit directly to my Bank of America account, which one donor does, contact me via email.

Stephanie begins school full-time Monday and is can’t wait for the new school year.

Greetings from San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Belize, where Stephanie Garcia will begin her second year of high school at St. Ignatius in Santa Elena.

Actually, she started back to school two weeks ago for “review classes.”

AS FOR THE $1,100  (U.S currency) goal for her second-year expenses, I’ve raised $600 — more than half!

Of that amount I spent just north of $100 shopping in Guatemala, where things are cheaper at the markets, for items like her school bag, supplies like pens and pencils and pads and such, new dress shoes to go with the uniform and other shoes and socks needed for casual or special needs like the dance troupe she’ll participate in.

I also spent $75 on three hefty new books and another $60 or so on workbooks and study guides. One of the nice things about the second year is that she has books I bought last year that she can use again this year or throughout the four years of high school.

Also, friends who are a grade ahead or two ahead of her gave her gave her books they won’t be using anymore.

As I noted before, I paid $275 out of my pocket on her tuition back July. Between that and a government grant she’ll receive and a little money held over from last year, the remaining balance for the school year is only $30 which I will pay next week.

So I’ve expended only $235 so far.

But, again, school doesn’t officially start until the coming week. And as I’ve noted, it’s the extracurricular expenses, field trips, meals, snacks and misc. costs that take big bites out of the budget — some of which I cover out of my own pocket here and there.

So I do have a monetary stake in funding her education myself.

But I couldn’t possibly put Stephanie through school without the continuing, generous donations of people like the following:

Kay Anderson, Carol Lusk Rowdoskas, Babe Watts, Cathy Gordon, Freda Marie Brown, Burke and Sarah Watson, Kevin and Marie Moran.

Also, Kevin Dietrich, Janis Beck, Sharon Miller, Cherie Nienstedt, Diane Flannery, Susan Leddy, Jered Cady, and Linda Novak.

For those who prefer to donate via PayPal, I have an account at revpaulmckay@gmail.com.

Or, if you prefer to deposit directly to my Bank of America account, which one donor does, contact me via email.

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We hear it said so much and so emphatically these days that ALL LIVES MATTER!!!

And of course every life matters, including the lives of brown babies.

On social media and TV news, I’m constantly seeing or hearing “Thoughts and prayers for (INSERT HERE)” being lifted up.

So why is this still happening in America? Why do I never see or hear “Thoughts and prayers for the children and their families dying and suffering in American custody?”

How would you react if your little girl was ill with a cough high fever and a caregiver gave the baby Tylenol, an antibiotic — which didn’t work — and honey? (Yes, honey.) What would you do if your child died from a common cough and congestion?

    — STORY BY JOSH HERMAN AT https://www.countable.us/articles/8396-baby-dies-weeks-release-ice-custody-do-need-reform-family-detention-system

    What’s the story?
    A Guatemalan mother is suing ICE, claiming her 19-month-old daughter died shortly after being released from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in south Texas.

    The news comes as the Trump administration looks to expand its use of detention facilities to house immigrants who cross the border illegally. In June, immigration authorities requested 15,000 additional beds for detained immigrant families.

    What’s the backstory?
    In March, Yazmin Juárez, 20, crossed the Rio Grande with her daughter, Mariee, seeking asylum from violence in Guatemala.
    Border agents apprehended Juárez and Mariee and transferred them to the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.
    Mariee was healthy enough upon arrival to be cleared for detention at Dilley. But one week after arriving, the child developed a cough, congestion, and a fever of over 104 degrees.

    Juárez’s lawyers say medical staff prescribed Tylenol, an antibiotic, and honey, but Mariee’s health continued to decline.
    “The conditions at Dilley were unsanitary, unsafe and inappropriate for any small child,” said R. Stanton Jones, a lawyer at the firm Arnold & Porter, which is representing Juárez.

    Jones alleges that when Juárez raised concerns about her daughter’s deteriorating condition she wasn’t taken seriously.
    “The medical care that Mariee received in Dilley was neglectful and substandard,” Jones said.

    Legal papers filed Tuesday claim Mariee was still ill when she and her mother were released from Dilley to stay with family in New Jersey. Hours after arrival, Juárez took Mariee to the emergency room. Six weeks later, Mariee died.

    “It was unimaginably painful for Yazmin,” Jones said.
    What is ICE saying?
    In an emailed statement to news outlets, ICE said:

    “ICE is committed to ensuring the welfare of all those in the agency’s custody, including providing access to necessary and appropriate medical care. Staffing includes registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, licensed mental health providers, mid-level providers that include a physician’s assistant and nurse practitioner, a physician, dental care, and access to 24-hour emergency care.”

    What are medical professionals saying?
    A pediatrician who reviewed Mariee’s medical records disputes ICE’s claims, and says the child did not receive adequate care in Dilley.
    “Nobody at any time decided to actually have a pediatrician or a doctor see the child,” said Benard Dreyer, the director of pediatrics at the Bellevue Hospital Center in New York, and a past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
    “Can we guarantee that if [she] had been sent to the hospital a week earlier, it wouldn’t have been too late? I can’t guarantee that,” Dreyer told NPR. But he adds, “the child was very sick and should have been sent to a hospital.”

    In July, two doctors contracted by the Department of Homeland Security released a scathing assessment of care at Dilley and other family detention centers.

    “The threats to health and safety of the children are not merely theoretical,” the doctors wrote. Family detention is “an exploitation and an assault on the dignity and health of children and families.”

    What do you think?
    Are you concerned about the medical care children receive at family detention centers? Do you support ICE’s plan to expand the use of the facilities? What should happen to unauthorized immigrants once they cross the border—detainment or monitoring devices? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

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His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

— Matthew 25:23 (NRSV)

Sen. McCain could not raise an arm because of the unbelievable torture his body endured in years of captivity.

Everybody in American who loved John McCain, and that’s the vast majority of Americans and people around the world except Putin and friends, hated John McCain sometimes.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (D) and U.S. Senator John McCain the Maverick Republican.
REUTERS photo/Fahad Shadeed

I loved Sen. McCain, but it took me a long time to forgive him for inflicting Sarah Palin on us.

History has revealed that McCain very much wanted then-Democrat and senatorial colleague Joe Lieberman for his running mate, which would have been a huge gamble. But he caved in to advisors and gambled on Palin.

His presidential campaign was sunk from the get-go anyway, at a time when Americans were so down on the endless wars McCain and Bush backed, not to mention the Republican president’s near-economic Depression.

McCain was way too hawkish and pro-war for my taste, and that’s what I hated about McCain the political leader.

But that’s how great leadership goes. A great leader is willing to stand like a rock and be decisive, strong and principled in ways that are sure to win love and praise from some quarters and intense hatred from other directions.

A great leader can also apologize when he or she is dead wrong. McCain’s biggest apology to the American people came when he got caught up in a big economic scandal back in the day.

A strong leader has a big, healthy ego, but is humbled by the office he or she holds. McCain said constantly over his long and very long political career that he was imperfect and made more than his share of big mistakes.

A strong political leader is not only decisive, but also articulate enough to explain, in unambiguous and eloquent terms, the reasons for his or her votes, as McCain did.

There was a whole other John McCain, the military hero, who was superhuman in his tolerance for pain and suffering. He was equally superhuman in his integrity and principles for rejecting two offers by his captors for early release after they learned his father was an admiral in the U.S. Navy.

See here for an overview of the torture the POW John McCain endured.

And here’s another mark of his admirable integrity: McCain was a man of deep Christian faith, but quiet faith, the best kind of faith.

Unlike 99 percent of Republican politicians today, he never, ever pandered to Christian voters to win favor.

And of course, there was John McCain the family man. Along with his beloved wife Cindy, he fiercely protected the privacy of their seven children. All of the McCain offspring except the fiercely political Meghan wanted nothing to do with being in the public eye.

Love him or hate him — and most all of us hated his politics sometimes — he made a mark in history the size of a battleship.

Well done, sir. Take your perfect rest, your perfect peace.

A 2016 Twitter photo from John McCain’s wife Cindy at the wedding of son Jimmy McCain where all seven children are pictured in this incredibly diverse and military-loving family.

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The never-ending revelations about sick clergy members and their enablers in leadership positions have Catholics and Americans from all faith traditions and none rightly outraged.

I hope and pray Americans aren’t becoming immune to the ongoing effects of the sickening child-separation policy that was mandated by the current occupant of the White House and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, whom he so despises.

Despises except, that is, when the AG Sessions is so proud to announce a new Trump policy that America’s pediatricians condemned as child abuse.

Tweet this, Trump enablers.

Luke 17:2
“It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.”

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I have only 5 Mins to burn for this! (Photo by Elijah O’Donnel)

I’ve noticed a curious little notation that appears on an increasing number of articles and essays in online publications: 5 Min Read.

The notation informs the reader of how long it will take to read the piece, be it “5 Mins” or 20. The time estimate is usually placed right beside the date of the article, or by a writer’s byline, with a tiny computer or cell phone graphic.

Never mind that some readers read fast, with good, quick comprehension, while others are still in the starting gate. I’m not sure how they come up with such arbitrary ERTs (Estimated Reading Times).

Here’s your Thought for the Day:

Are we all rushing through life at such a fast clip that we need to know if a piece will take only 5 or possibly 20 minutes to read?

When did reading become such a sprint against the 24 hours in a day that we need to know if the race will be a quick sprint or a few laps?

Reading isn’t supposed to be the equivalent of WHAM!! BAM!!!! THANK U mA’Am!!!!!

That’s Twitter.

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This is what we hear in Aretha’s voice. Truth. It is a voice that contains the spiritual and the field holler, the blues moan, gospel shout, and jazz improvisation. … She excels at any form she tries, including opera.

“Aretha’s voice is America at its best.”

— Farah Jasmine Griffin on Aretha Franklin in The Nation

Still Life in Soul.

I invite you to join me in gazing on this arresting portrait of a natural woman. If the eyes are the window to the soul, you can look into those Aretha eyes and see how deep the beauty and truth of God run.

Back in the day, when even white guys like me would drive down the road singing along with Aretha’s latest hit with the radio at 120 decibels, Aretha Franklin had the whole world in her hands.

And Aretha Franklin dared to let it all go, kids.

She did so by telling Jet Magazine that she would gladly pay the bail of Angela Davis, an unapologetic communist, for God’s sake, who had been jailed on charges of purchasing firearms used in the takeover of a courtroom in Marin County, California.

Aretha explained that she would pay the bail, not because she believed in communism, but because … well, read this fine take on her life for why she would do it (and why she didn’t have to).

Thanks for the memories, Queen, and for showing us what courage and integrity are about.

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The Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League have added a $75 hamburger to their 2018 football season menu. (See here for the contents.)

The Arizona Cardinals’ Burger Challenge: a burger the size of the baby.
(2018 Scripps Media, Inc)

Now stop and consider this: this hamburger weighs roughly the size of a healthy newborn baby like baby Jesus: a whopping 7 pounds, 0 ounces!*

But that’s not all. Any one fan who can eat this $75 burger (and eat it in good health; no barfing allowed) within one hour will receive — Wow! — a free Arizona Cardinals football jersey!!!

But here’s the Dijon moutarde on the bun: the fan will also get recognized on the team’s video scoreboard in front of a stadium full of appreciative football fans!!!!

This is the kind of free-marketism and consumption for which millions of our American heroes have sacrificed all.

A grateful Christian nation salutes you, Cardinals!
*The Cardinals ask that you please rise and stand with your Cardinals cap over your heart and say grace to Baby Jesus before pigging out. Thank you.

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